What is a Strength?
Strengths are Underlying qualities that energise us, and we are great at (or have the potential to become great at).Brewerton & Brook, 2014
Strengths are not competences. Stengths give us energy, and they are inside us. This is the whole point of coaching for me : we have these strengths inside us. We don’t need to search very far for it. We only need to look inside us and to trust that what we find is or could be an incredible tool for our development and our satisfaction. The coach is just helping to look, to express and to act.
Look, Express and Act
A coach is an expert in the coaching process. A big part of the process is to listen to you. Another one is to ask you questions. A last one is to help you take action, own your life and move-on.
The goal should be for you to find out your own solutions, using what is inside yourself. The goal is to get control about your strengths, to know when to use them and when you should stop using them. The goal is to align your skills and knowledge with your strengths and the goal of your organisation. Or your mission, as I understand it, looking not only to your business missions, but also to the other area’s of your life’s missions (family, friends, country,…).
The Negativity Bias
We are looking most of the time at what goes wrong. This is the Negativity Bias. I am not totally “against” this way of looking at things : it helps us identify what we can improve and therefor become better tomorrow than we were yesterday. But it helps a lot if we are also using what we do the right way too and be supported by the strengths we have inside ourselves.
When we look at a – negative – situation with a positive mindset, we focus more on the possibilities, the opportunities, the solutions. It doesn’t make the problem disappear nor our weak points . But we are in another mindset and it really helps to overcome our weaknesses or obstacles.
One of my “Significant 7” strengths is creativity. I love to dream about new ways of working, I have often ideas to change things in the way the company I work for is organised. Now that I started my own business, I have ideas every day about new products, or ways to find new clients, or new business to launch.
When I was a student, I saw my creativity as a weakness. I couldn’t focus very long on what I needed to learn, I could travel in a daydream for long periods of time. I actually didn’t see how creativity could help me succeed in my studies… Until this same creativity applied on my learning methods helped me to create my own way of learning which in turn helped me to obtain my diploma.
Balance between stretching strengths and overdrive
An important aspect of the Strengthscope coaching is not only to use intentionally our strengths, it’s also to stretch their use by pushing ourselves further than what we think we are able to achieve, and pay attention to avoid overdrive in our use of strengths.
In my case, creativity can be counterproductive when I spend my time having ideas but not making them happen. So I use another strength, efficiency, to stop and organise myself, to take actions and make things happen even if sometimes, I would like to continue generate ideas instead.
I am curious about you. Do you know your strengths? Do you use them? Do you know when their use can be counterproductive? How do you manage them?
Please leave me your thoughts hereunder 😉